Honorable Festus Adefiranye, a distinguished member of the House of Representatives representing Ondo State’s Oke-Igbo/Ile-Oluji/Odigbo federal constituency, expressed deep concern over the lack of autonomy of state Houses of Assembly.

Having served in the Ondo State House of Assembly from 2019 to 2023, Adefiranye highlighted the vast difference between the National Assembly and state assemblies, likening it to a comparison between “death and sleep.”

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During an interview, the federal lawmaker attributed the inability of state assemblies to attain autonomy to the overbearing attitude of governors.

Adefiranye explained, “The legislator at the state level cannot be compared to their counterparts in the National Assembly.

The gap between the two is significantly wide due to the lack of autonomy in the state assembly. It is essentially an extension of the executive arm of the state government.”

He further elaborated that discussions and decisions within the state assembly are subject to the governor’s approval.

Without the governor’s sanction, no matter how crucial the matter is, it will not progress. Even if it manages to be brought up, the speaker will restrict the extent to which it can be discussed.

On the other hand, the National Assembly benefits from autonomy, providing its members with the freedom to express and discuss any issue.

Adefiranye highlighted that in the National Assembly, consultation with one’s constituency is the key. Once the constituency gives the go-ahead, representatives are able to speak on their behalf without any interference.

Drawing attention to the issue of autonomy in state assemblies, Adefiranye revealed that attempts to pass autonomy bills have faced numerous challenges.

Despite the bills being presented to the National Assembly multiple times, they fail to gain traction in state assemblies due to the requirement of a two-thirds majority vote from state lawmakers.

This clearly indicates that any decision or action taken within the state assembly must receive consent from the governor. Hence, comparing state and National Assemblies is akin to comparing “death and sleep.” The disparity between the two is undeniable.